It looks like Obama has declared open season on Syrian civilians, including women and children.
The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.
A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.
The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.
But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.
So Obama loudly declares strict limits to prevent civilian casualties and then quietly relaxes them when they become inconvenient.
The weekly show Last Week Tonight has clearly found its voice. In addition to its purely comedic elements, it includes an extended segment that has real investigative journalism in it. The fact that the report is interspersed with one-liners, jokes, satire, and irony does not detract from the fact that this is solid reporting. His recent report on drones, where he highlights the shameless abuse of language by the Obama administration, is a good example.